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Charles Cook

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Charles Cook Obituary
Charles Edward Cook

SHREVEPORT, LA - Charles Edward Cook passed away in the early morning of June 18, 2012 at The Oaks of Louisiana. He was born on a farm near Magnolia, Arkansas on August 27, 1918, to Julian and Mattie Thomas Cook. Visitation will be at Osborn Funeral Home from 5:00 to 7:00 Wednesday. June 20, 2012. Funeral services will be held Thursday June 21 at 11:00 a.m.at First United Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, with Dr. Pat Day officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Park Cemetery.

After completing Magnolia High School and two years at Arkansas State A&M College in Magnolia, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in June 1940 as a Flying Cadet. Upon receiving his commission and pilot's rating, he was assigned as a flying instructor in March 1941 participating in the build-up of the Air Forces prior the World War II. His marriage in May 1941 to Mary Hudgens gave them a partnership in the "Greatest Generation". In 1943 he became the commander of a training squadron and after training in the B-24 Liberator bomber was assigned to a group in training for overseas duty. Upon arriving in England they were made a part of the Eighth Air Force.

From the beginning of his combat assignment, he and his crew were designated to lead the squadron and group formations to targets in Germany and other occupied territory. He never lost a plane or crew member in his squadron. During this assignment he was promoted to the rank of Major and later became Lead Crew Training Officer for the 493rd Bomb Group. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Returning to the States in 1945 he served the remainder of the war training four-engine bomber pilots.

Charles completed his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, while working for Southwestern Gas and Electric Company (now AEP-SWEPCO) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He spent his entire post war working career at SWEPCO, retiring in 1983 as Vice-President of Personnel, Safety, and Insurance in Shreveport.

While his sons were active in Boy Scouts, Charles was also active as an adult Scouter, serving as Chairman of the Troop Committee of Troop 18, and was recognized by the awards of the Order of the Arrow and the Silver Beaver Medal.

Active in the First United Methodist Church, Shreveport, he held many offices in his Sunday School Classes and was an honorary member of the Church Council. Also, he was a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, The American Society of Safety Engineers, and a charter member of the Arkansas Academy of Electrical Engineers. He was a member of the Shreveport Club for over 50 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Mary, his parents, his sister Elizabeth Cook Johnson, his brother Harris Ray Cook, and a brother and sister, Billy and Evelyn, who died at an early age.

He is survived by a daughter, Carole Cook Lacefield, and her husband William Lacefield; a daughter, Margaret Cook Dickson, and her husband Col. Bennett Dickson, of Leavenworth, KS; a son, Charles E. Cook Jr. and his wife Lucy of Chevy Chase, MD; a son, Robert Cook of Shreveport; five grand children, Elizabeth Lacefield Buchholz, Andrew Dickson, Rebecca Cook, David Cook, and Jeffery Cook; and three great-grand children Sarah and Kellen Buchholz, and Baby Girl Dickson, due in August.

Pallbearers include, Jerry Googe, John Hayter, Terral Whetstone, John Hubbard, Dayne Hassell, and Eddie Blanchard. Honorary pallbearers are Lamar Stall and Art Carmody.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Shreveport, the Easter Seals of Shreveport, or a . The family would like to express their appreciation to all his many care-givers at The Oaks of Louisiana and to hospice nurse, Lucie Groves.

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Published in Shreveport Times from June 20 to June 21, 2012
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